Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Imagine for a moment that you have played a few games of basketball with your friends. You're struggling to dribble and every time you try to shoot the ball you airball it. Your friends stop passing the ball to you and you've ceased to enjoy playing this game - believing that you're terrible and there is no getting better. That perception does nothing for your desire to play the game. However, if you go out daily with the mentality that you're going to work on dribbling, ask for help with your shot, believing that if you work hard you can become a good basketball player, then you most likely will!
The same is applicable to reading. If a student struggles to instantly identify words on a page or cannot answer basic comprehension questions, the likelihood of that student believing they're a good reader are pretty small. How a student perceives themselves as a reader determines whether or not they're going to read. As parents and teachers we have the ability to help them not just to view themselves differently, but to give them confidence as a reader. That is the part of my job I love so much - which is why I begin each of my tutoring sessions with this fact,
"Every reader struggles! I am not at all worried about the struggle. The fact that you struggle proves you are a living, breathing human being! In fact, even good readers struggle! What I am worried about is what you do when you struggle."
And that's when I begin asking them questions to determine what it is that they do. Most of the time the reader closes a book in despair. But after that little speech I see ears perk up and a sparkle of hope come into their little lives. My job is to give them confidence to work hard, to build their toolbox, to help them believe that they are a reader and a good one! If I can help them view their struggle a little differently, that's half the battle and part of the reason I love my job so much.
They need encouragement and support.
Let's be real, we all need encouragement and support. I do not believe for one moment that God created us to journey this life alone.That's why Jesus created discipleship, parents, and teachers like me. We are to give them the tools for success, expect them to faithfully work hard and when it gets tough we come in to encourage and support them however we can. I never, ever go into a tutoring session telling them it's going to be easy, but I do tell them that we are going to work hard, focus on the task at hand, have some fun, and learn a lot of new things. They need that from teachers and parents alike.
Do you have a student, or know a student, who doesn't want to read? Contact me, we'll set up a FREE consultation. I can help!